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Waste, A Little Bit Here and A Little Bit There

Aug 17, 2007
Are Americans lazy or just poorly informed? In today's world, there are no valid reasons for being poorly informed, only excuses. Our current crop of power holding politicians seem to extol the virtues of being less than interested in learning or gaining greater understanding of the world around us. Their implied modus operandi is they already know everything there is worth knowing.

I visited the grocery store today. Like lots of stores, the doors automatically open when you approach them. This particular store has double doors. As I was going in there was an older couple ahead of me. The woman went in one door and the man went in the other door. The doors are electrically powered so two motors used two times the necessary electrical energy to allow these people to enter the store. I am sure it never occurred to them what had transpired.

As I was leaving the store I approached the double exit doors. There was no one else around. Both doors opened automatically. I only needed one door to exit. The energy to open the other door was a complete waste.

These two small incidents seem inconsequential. The problem is these two incidents are probably multiplied over the entire USA thousands of times, or, maybe millions of times. I wonder how many times it happens in that one store every day and how much electricity is wasted. How many people even notice what is going on?

You may think I am just looking for things to complain about. But, I suspect there are so many incidents of waste similar to what I have outlined that if they could all be magically stopped we could just shut down some power plants. The sloppy use of energy came about because we were led to believe it was all so cheap. NO one told us we would have to pay for it all later.

I read a while back that if all the lighted exit signs in buildings were shut off we could shut down several power plants. I do not know if it is true or not but it is reasonable because there are millions of signs in the country. Probably the only time they need to be lit is when it is dark. If a building is dark in the daytime I would say it is a wasteful building to begin with.

Maybe there are people looking at all these small things that add up to big things. I certainly hope so. Perhaps the true cost of all these small wasteful things is beginning to become apparent. It could probably become an entire field of study for someone. Or, maybe there is a new employment niche along the lines of "Waste Cop."
About the Author
Michael Dappert is a co-founder of Winco, Inc., a provider of wireless internet access to small communities in West Central Illinois. He also administers the web site Musicgig.us and discusses a wide range of topics at Flyoverfolks.com .
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